Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Review: Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson

Title: Breathe My Name

Author: R.A. Nelson

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: November 2007

Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.

Review:Realistic fiction becomes physiological thriller in this book. Frances Robinson is a typical high school teenager, but she’s hiding a secret only her family and best friend knows. Years before, she barely escaped her birth mother’s hands. Now her birth mother is out, asking Frances to see her, and to finish what they started.

I knew going into it that this book was going to be intense. Nelson’s other book I read, and reviewed, was equally jarring, scary and emotionally explosive. Breathe My Name doesn’t let up for one second.  The flashbacks are the most disturbing for me. Traveling back and forth between France’s current life and her former one leaves the reader feeling off balanced. You already know what’s going to happen, and every flashback leads you closer and closer, achingly close until the very end.

Meanwhile, the present Frances is doing everything she can to come to terms with what this means to her.  With her new boyfriend Nix in tow, they begin a journey that I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to end.

Frances is a real, warm character. She has been through a lot, but she doesn’t come across as whiny, annoying or overly dramatic. She’s level headed, brave and seems far older than her years.  Nix is sweet, funny and a great supporting character to Frances. It’s easy to see the chemistry between these two characters. Nix makes Frances laugh and she feels safe around him. The scariest character of all is France’s birth mother. Tense and unhinged, she is her own force; a hurricane you can’t help being pulled towards and almost swept up in. Nelson does an amazing job in the flashbacks, describing her pull, her fears, and her insanity.

Without revealing too much, the plot twist at the end left me a little empty. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a well-written and thought-out ride to get there.  

Rating 7 Pretty Cool, Would Recommend

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